Our lab designs and synthesizes novel polymeric nanoparticles suitable for targeted imaging and drug delivery. These nanoparticles are composed of a biodegradable polymeric coating and can efficiently co-encapsulate organic fluorophores and therapeutic agents (for instance, hydrophobic anti-neoplastic agents). The surface of the nanoparticles can be readily modified, allowing the facile conjugation of targeting moieties that promote enhanced specific uptake by the tumor. Overall, this research will help the optimization of therapeutic regimes, as the nanoparticles’ can provide spatiotemporal information about their in vivo distribution, the drug’s homing and the tumor regression.
Iron Oxide Nanoparticles
Recently, we have developed multifunctional iron oxide nanoparticles that can be used in cancer therapeutics. Specifically, we have developed novel methods to synthesize iron oxide nanoparticles, containing near-infrared fluorescent dyes and anticancer drugs. These nanoparticles apart from being excellent MRI contrast agents are fluorescent and can deliver their therapeutic load with high specificity.
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Dr. J. Manuel Perez
Department of Chemistry, CH 117
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816